Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country 2019

It’s not always easy to find out about what’s going on for Laura Ingalls Wilder events around the country. I finally decided that current information is probably best posted on a month by month basis so for current information search this site for the name of the month you are looking for and the word event (for example July 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events). Check out the page version of this post which I update with major changes.

Let me know if I’m missing any. Most of these events are annual, but check with the group hosting the event for exact dates for following years.

NOTE: The Little House on the Prairie website uses a more extensive definition of events then I do. So check them out for additional listings. As of February 17, 2019 they hadn’t yet posted their 2019 schedule, but I assume it is in the works.

Blue lake with a tree and grass on shore
Silver Lake October 2018

Pepin WI

Laura Days – September 14-15, 2019
Their big Laura event of the year it includes all manners of celebration of Laura including a Little Miss Laura contest, a regional fiddle contest, activities at the birthplace cabin, historic crafts, and Sarah Uthoff as a keynote speaker. The other keynote this year is Renee Graef.

Open 10 AM – 5 PM DAILY (including weekends & holidays) from May 1st thru Mid-October
Closed for the winter.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 8, 2019 10am-5pm

Summer hours are March 1st to September 1st, everyday 10-5 pm.
Winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10-5 pm. starting in September till November 1st.

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

Museum/Pageant 2018 Brochure

  • July 5-6, 2019
  • July 12-13, 2019
  • July 19-20, 2019

The Little House on the Prairie Cast Reunion is July 12 and 13. Tickets for those nights of the pageant are $35 for Reserved Seats and $33 for General Admission.

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays
July 6, 12-13, and 20, 2019. The festival goes from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer. 

July 11-14, 2019 they will have a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast reunion. They are still under negotiation so no cast list has yet been announced. Watch for more information. Check out my podcasts about my trip to the 2014 Walnut Grove Reunion.

A set up for working flax, flax break, combs etc
Working Flax at Laura Days – Black Cat Farm

Burr Oak IA

Spaghetti Supper InviteFind out more about their events.

Fri., Feb. 22, 2019 5:30 PM · St. Benedict Church Basement, Decorah, Iowa
New Event – Spring Book Sale 2019 – May 4, 2019

Advent Christian Church Open House (the church by the cemetery at the top of the hill, you drive by the cemetery on the way into town but you have to go through town to reach the parking area and the church)
– May  27, 2019 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  June 21-23, 2019

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale – Date to be Announced – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Birthday Parties can be scheduled by any group at any time.

Season opens May 1

  • Monday-Saturday: 10:00 – 4:00   Last tour 3:00
  • Sunday: Noon – 4:00 Last tour 3:00

Memorial Day – Labor Day

  • Monday-Saturday: 9:00 – 5:00  Last tour 4:00
  • Sunday: Noon – 4:00  Last tour 3:00

Post Labor Day – mid October:        

  • Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 – 4:00  Last tour 3:00 
  • Closed Sunday-Wednesday

De Smet SD

By the Shores of Silver Lake

  • July 5, 6, 2019
  • July 7 – 12, 2019
  • July 13, 14 – 19, 20, 21, 2019

The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. –  August 9, 10, 11, 2019

Memorial Society

  • January-April: Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • May: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Due to school field-trips our tour times will vary, please call ahead.
  • June-July: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
    Sunday 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • August: Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • September: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Closed Sunday
  • October-December: Closed over Christmas week,
    Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    *Tentative tour schedule: 10 AM & 2 PM. Subject to change.

Ingalls Homestead

  • Spring Hours: Last week of April – May 23, Monday – Friday, Hours vary daily as we host school field trips.  It is best to contact us for details.  During our Spring season we are not open on the weekends.
  • Summer Hours: May 25 – September 2, Daily 9AM – 7PM
    Activities are offered from 10AM – 6PM
    The first covered wagon ride leaves around 10AM and the last one leaves at 6PM with rides leaving throughout the day.  We are open seven days a week throughout the summer, including Sundays and Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.
  • Fall Hours: September 4 – September 30, Daily 9AM – 5PM
    Activities are offered from 11AM – 2PM
  • October 1 – October 31, Daily 9AM – 5PM, weather permitting
    No activities offered, but the grounds, visitors center, and gift shop are open.
  • Winter Hours: The grounds are closed for the winter, but we are still in the office. If you would like to make a camping reservation, request information, or place a phone order, please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email.

behind the barns

Spring Valley MN

  • Annual Meeting – April 7th
  • Spring Teas – May 11th (reservations required)
  • Opening Day – May 25th
  • Ice Cream Social – June 14 5-7 P.M.
  • Eliza Jane School House Days – End of July
  • AG Days Town Celebration – August 15-18
  • Seasonal Closing For Weekdays (Except by Appointment) – September 2nd
  • Seasonal Closing For All Days (Except by Appointment) – October 27th
  • Possible Winter House Tours

Almanzo 100 – Gravel road racing through the beautiful rolling countryside of Fillmore County, NE Iowa and SW Wisconsin – Has moved out of Spring Valley

They aren’t planning on continuing the Christmas Teas.

Other events [ Annual Ice Cream Social, Eliza Jane One Room School Days –Ag Days (town celebration) ] aren’t scheduled yet

Mansfield MO

Note: Recently Mansfield has been scheduling small events without a lot of notice. If this trend continues I will add them to list as soon as I find out about them. This year Mansfield has a theme – A Season With Rose.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Literature Festival will take place on April 25th and 26th, 2019. It will partner with the author appearance in the Marshfield, Missouri’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

April 28, 2019 “Little House” Cast to gather at the Museum in Mansfield to cut the ribbon on a special exhibit. 2:00pm

May 11, 2019  Justamere Graveyard Workshop [dealing with the cleaning of tombstones]
July 8 – 12, 2019 Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp
July 24 – 28, 2019 Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp

 

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association is excited to announce the addition of “Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp” to our 2019 season! The camp will be for children ages (9-12) and we will offer two different weeks, June 24-28 and July 8-12. Camp will cost $50 per child and will include a week of exciting adventures around Rocky Ridge Farm. Campers will enjoy many learning activities, bringing a hands-on perspective to the pioneer lifestyle. This week of adventure will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily. There will be a special rate of $5 off each registration with 2 children or more. Camp will take place, rain or shine!! Your child will not want to miss this special week of historic fun and memories!!!! Register today and reserve your spot in the first summer camp to take place at Rocky Ridge Farm!! Registration cost includes 5 days of camp, tin cup, badge, book, shirt and a hat (bonnet for girls and coon skin cap for boys). Download the Registration Form here 2019 Camper Registration Form For more information, call 417-924-3626.

August 2, 2019 7:00pm – Sunset Serenade with Pa’s Fiddle
September 20, 2019 – in the Evening: Annual Wilder Benefit Dinner- Special Guest Alison Arngrim – not sure on the time  yet
September 21, 2019 – Wilder Day and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Fiddle Off
November 15, 2019 – Season with Rose comes to an end.
December 7, 2019Christmas with Laura 6:00pm

 

The Ozark Mountain Players has not yet set pageant dates this year, but they always do several shows of Laura’s Memories Pageant during Wilder Days.

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Annual Board Meeting where any member may attend Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:00am Malone Lodge of the Elks, Elm Street Malone RSVP by farm@almanzowilderfarm.com or 518-483-0774.

Celebration of Youth and Morgan Horse – July 20, 2019

  • Children’s art on display, along with students’ essays. Award ceremony and the announcement of Honorary Laura and Almanzo
  • Kids art activities, 19th century games, vendors, food
  • Entertainment & more!

Annual Cultural Festival– Fete du Quebecois – August 24, 2019

Celebrating the French Canadian heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment – September 28-29, 2019

  • Civil War living history encampment
  • Pumpkin painting and children’s 19th century game in the orchard, children’s corn pit in the barn,
  • 9th Annual “As Time Passes” adult juried art show on display
  • Entertainment, demonstrators, craft & produce

Sept. 29, 2018 Open extended Sunday hours 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Civil War reenactors living history encampment and one skirmish. Regular admission and guided tours available. Last tour at 3:00 pm.

Christmas with Almanzo  – December 7, 2019

  • Children’s  craft activities
  • Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings, carol singing.

ALL EVENTS AND TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Vinton IA

Tours are not currently available. We are in doubt of future events due to uncertainty of the future of the building.

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s Birthday Party – Date Unknown

William T. Anderson

March 5, 2019 – Marysville Public Library, MI

April 25-27, 2019 – Cherry Blossom Fest, Marshfield, MO, Children’s Lit Fest, Panel with Little House on the Prairie TV show stars

May 30-31, 2019 – Fifth Annual Midwest History Conference, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI

American Printing House for the Blind – Louisville, Kentucky

They alternate between a Mary Ingalls party and a Louis Braille party. This year is Mary’s turn. Find out more about their other events.

MARY INGALLS: THE FRONTIER YEARS
Saturday, January 5, 1:00-3:00 pm

“My sister Mary is the reason I am a writer,” said Laura Ingalls Wilder, the celebrated author of the Little House books. Mary lost her sight at the age of fourteen, and Laura became her sister’s eyes, describing the world around her so her sister could “see” as well. Without her sight, Mary was expected to perform her share of the tasks in a frontier family home – housecleaning, cooking, laundry, sewing, looking after children. How did she do that? Our guest exhibitors and presenters are some of our museum friends who are blind or visually impaired. We’ll also sing along with some of Pa’s fiddle tunes, weave a beaded bracelet (the same as those Mary made for her sisters), and celebrate Mary’s birthday with a cake made from Ma’s recipe. Dressing as characters in the Little House books is encouraged. Free to the public but space is limited so registration is required. Call 502-899-2213 or email kcarpenter@aph.org to register. For all ages.

Pomona Public Library – Pomona CA

53nd Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable – Wednesday, February 6, 2019 3:00PM.
There will be a craft and refreshments provided by the Daugthers of Utah Pioneers who’ll talk about life and sponsored by Friends of the Pomona Public Library.

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

In August 2018 Old World Wisconsin announced that they felt people were getting too focused on events (which frankly is a strange reason to give museum/festival events in general are less of a draw than they were even a few years ago so if they said low attendance was while they weren’t scheduling any would make a lot more sense) and so they are focusing more on on-going activities. I think it will probably return eventually as it has disappeared, returned, stretched to over a month, and shrank back to combined with a single event weekend. However, apparently not this year.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year. Last year they said their plan was to have a Laura event every other year going forward. This would be the year and they don’t have one scheduled. They are working on their 2020 schedule and are considering a prairie days event, but an inquiry brought the response that so far nothing is decided.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

This year they won’t be having Wilder Weekend they are replacing it with “Novel weekend – Lewis Carroll.”

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – Sunday, September 1, 2019 2pm
Sarah S. Uthoff

Colt on Ingalls Homestead
Colt on Ingalls Homestead

National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas

The National Cowgirl Museum previously had held an annual event, but stopped having it. They brought it back for the 150th as a one shot. This year they are closing for a remodel for February and March and don’t seem to have any events scheduled so far.

Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival – Marshfield, Missouri

Reunion of the TV show castFull Festival Schedule – April 25-27, 2019

Conference

LauraPalooza July 8–10, 2019, Onalaska, WI

UPDATED March 5 2019: I added the Spring Valley dates.

UPDATED March 29 2019: I added the LauraPalooza Conference.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 2 July 15

We pick up with part 2 of Day 3 of the trip.

Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017
Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017

I got some good tweets from Alison and Dean’s program today. This was their second program of the day. I’ve heard them separately before and it was so much better when they were playing back and forth.

I loved this line. There were plenty of kids costumes of TV characters in the 1970s, but I don’t really remember seeing many from any TV non-science fiction TV show lately.

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The crowds were just as big or bigger the second show of the second day.

I didn’t get the movie title in the tweet and checking the IMDB, none of Kurt Russell’s sounded right.

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Doug Hansen did a second show that was equally informative about the wagon.

Then we got to listen to some more from Bill and Nancy about the history of De Smet and the Pioneer Girl Project.

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Now the good stuff William T Anderson and Nancy Koupal #

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I love this quote from Nancy.

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After the presentations were over I drove over to the roads of Manchester. I wanted to visit again. I hadn’t been there since the memorial went up. The memorial and the town pump are still there. If you don’t know, Manchester was where Grace Ingalls Dow and her husband Nate Dow lived. It’s 6 miles up the road from De Smet. Famed artist Harvey Dunn also was from Manchester. The entire town was swept away in an F4 tornado back in 2003.

The roads of Manchester are what I would call a little better than Level B meaning I wouldn’t drive them in bad weather, but they mostly still good and stable although the houses and businesses are almost all gone – a couple remain right on the edges of the town. I drove the entire matrix of roads that showed up on the GPS. They were all still in good shape except the road on the far western end of the grid. This last loop was in questionable condition. I made it fine with the Jeep, but I don’t know if I’d want to try it in a sedan.

Afterwards we considered our options and decided our best bet for supper was the Country Club. I hadn’t eaten there under the new management – they used to be known for their long wait times. It also is off the beaten track with just a small sign off the road that leads you from town south to the cemetery. I figured unfamiliar tourists wouldn’t know to stop here. It was quiet, the service was good, and the food was a bit better than the Oxbow, with the exception of the iced tea which the Oxbow still keeps the coveted best tea in De Smet award. Afterwards figuring that most people would be out at the pageant, I swung back around to get some Surveyor’s House photos. Then back to the hotel and the pool.

The next morning I had a leisurely breakfast and made one last quick swing by the Ingalls Homestead. I forgot to say earlier I had also made a swing by the Loftus Store and the De Smet News. The Loftus Store, besides being a Laura site itself, offers different souvenirs than the other homesites. The De Smet News is where you find all the news in town. I always pay my subscription when I stop, so I have a real piece of business to do in town.

I’ve just got to get back there when there isn’t an event so I can do some everyday stuff. I got to say hi to almost all my friends in De Smet and home that I can make it back there soon.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

DVDs of South Dakota Conference Available

A big Laura Ingalls Wilder conference was held by the South Dakota State Society History Conference April 28 – 29, 2017 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There was a lot of excitement when TPTB announced they were going to be offering DVDs of the proceedings. I haven’t done my full report on the conference yet — I’ve been waiting to rewatch on the DVDs first — but I did interview Nancy Koupal about it.

John E. Miller
John E. Miller

DVDs of Conference Available

Full information about the DVDs was coming later AND it’s finally later. Whether you attended in person or not, you can purchase a set of the DVDs of the full conference.

The cost is $50 for the full set, plus $5 for shipping, and it includes 7 DVDs that cover the entire conference.

You may pay by check, please make it to SD Historical Society Conference, or credit card by calling (605) 773-6009.

Mail checks to:
Jennifer E. McIntyre
Marketing Director
Associate Editor
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

What’s On It?

Find out more information about the conference. It has the full presentations of all speakers. The speakers were the people who had been selected to submit essays for Pioneer Girl Perspectives which was released at the conference.

Featured Speakers

William Anderson, an award-winning historian and author, has written extensively on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House novels. Hear his podcast episode.

Caroline Fraser is the editor of the Library of America’s two-volume edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.

Michael Patrick Hearn, a scholar of American literature, is one of the country’s leading specialists in children’s literature and its illustrators.

Nancy Tystad Koupal is director and editor-in-chief of the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Pioneer Girl Project and the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Hear her podcast episode.

Elizabeth Jameson has conducted in-depth studies into the history of women in the West, including the pioneer narratives of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.

Sallie Ketcham is the author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: American Writer on the Prairie, which is a part of the Routledge Historical Americans series.

Amy Lauters is the author of The Rediscovered Writings of Rose Wilder Lane, Literary Journalist, which explores Lane’s literary and journalistic career.

John E. Miller has published three books on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life, career, and place as a Midwestern woman. Hear his podcast episode.

Paula M. Nelson has written extensively on rural women’s history and the agricultural settlement of the Great Plains.

Ann Romines won the Children’s Literature Association’s award for best scholarly book on children’s literature for Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Noel Silverman has worked with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s legacy for over forty-five years and as counsel to the Little House Heritage Trust since its inception.

Upcoming Post

Once I’ve had a chance to watch it again look for my full report on the conference.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 2 Part 2 July 14

We continue on during Day 2.

Next was the joint presentation by Bill Anderson and Nancy Koupal. A technical error meant I got to pinch hit and introduce them. They were reading letters from Bill’s book Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then they answered questions. Both Bill and Nancy have been interviewed this year. Nancy told my favorite homesite story both on the podcast and that day.

Nancy Koupal and William T. Anderson

Bill pointed out how the story he was telling took place in that very school, right there and pointed across the road. It really renewed my thrill at being RIGHT THERE.

After that there was a break for lunch and then Paul introduced Dean and Alison again.

Dean once again spoke. It was based on questions from the audience and while there was some reputation from this morning, there were also different questions. Dean reports even his wife has said, “If only I could meet a man like Almanzo.”

The crowd once again spilled out of the tent.

This time it was Dean’s turn to go first and Alison followed. One of the most interesting things Alison shares about is the French people’s obsession with the Little House on the Prairie TV show. The interest is so great that Alison has learned enough French that she can do a version of her one-woman show in French. She talks about how “chopping wood like Charles Ingalls” is a phrase used for working hard and how falling down in wildflowers like Baby Carrie is a thing in France.

Follow on for more posts.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 2 Part 1 July 14

I hope you enjoyed Day 1. Here is the first part of Day 2.

I got up early on Friday and redid my blog post featuring my podcasts about the event and published it. The wireless was completely unstable and fairly unusable the night before. I was staying at the Super Deluxe Inn and I’ve never had that happen before.

We had breakfast there in the hotel and this time brought along some bakery of own to add back in our room. Bakery is something their breakfast is lacking so you might want to bring along some on your next trip. You can even keep them in the refrigerator. (FYI it was pumpkin bars.)

I was hoping to head over first thing, but spent a lot of time chatting to people I know instead. The schedule seemed like things would start at 9am so I headed over about then. I was concerned about getting parked in if I drove having no idea how many people would show up. I had driven around the night before and realized it was just 3 blocks from the hotel to the event area by the Surveyor’s House. So I walked over from the hotel and that worked rather well. If you’re doing a full tour including a drive over to the Third Street House, you’ll want your car, but it was a nice walk. Here’s is the street sign for the corner you turn on to get the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society area, Olivet and 4th.

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Oliver St #desmetevent

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They were still getting set up when I arrived and they got a couple of these great banners.

Judy Thompson was already on hand signing books and selling prints of her work. Thompson had been an artist in residence at the Homestead National Monument. Her series was displayed at the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum, the same building that houses the SDHS Press. Nancy Koupal saw them there and commissioned Thompson to do covers for the Pioneer Girl series to a set of requirements.

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Judy Thompson #PioneerGirl illustrator

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Although they spoke a couple of different times each day, people crowded under the tent for each performance by Alison Arngrim and Dean Butler. Here’s the crowd waiting for them to come out.

Paul Valenti introducing Alison asks “What show has the number 1 fanbase?”

Alison as always puts on a great show and managed to look great too despite the hot temperatures.

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Alison Arngrim on stage @Arngrim @alisonarngrim

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Dean Butler said to remind him never to follow Alison, but he put on just as good a show.

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Dean Butler #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

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Me and Pauly Tee who not only takes trips to both TV and real Laura sites, but generously shares his photos online.

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Me with Pauly Tee #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

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Judy Thompson talking. One of her most interesting points was that she doesn’t consider herself an illustrator, but a watercolor artist. She seeks to show artistic truth rather than literal truth.

Look for the other report posts soon.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

De Smet Event 2017

It’s FINALLY here! Today starts the De Smet Event 2017 (July 14-16). Below find links to my interviews about it and other places you might want to know about. I’ve also written up summaries of the interviews if you just want to scan them instead. (Oh and by the way, I looked it up and first De Smet Event was 2005.)

Horses and Covered Wagon
Horses and Covered Wagon at Ingalls Homestead

De Smet Event

I interviewed Tessa Flak back in May. Here’s all the scoop.

Find the Schedule

Dean Butler and Alison Arngrim will start with the paid autographs at 10:30am. They will break at noon and will cut off the line ahead of the break. Everyone who buys a ticket will get signed.

They’re not going to do photos during the signing because they want people to attend the autograph session on Sunday morning with a photo session.

On Sunday they are going to do a Confession from Prairies show with Alison Arngrim. It’s the family friendly version of her show. It will be at 2pm  and include a reception. Tickets are required.

Nancy Koupal is a Memorial Society board member from the 1990s. She’ll talk about the Pioneer Girl Project and Bill might jump in.

Judy Thompson is the artist behind covers of Pioneer Girl and Pioneer Girl Perspectives. She’s present and demonstrate drawing. Her original artwork will be on display.  The prints of the covers are available for sale.

William T. Anderson is the main Laura authority. He’s going to talk about how he got involved with Laura and his history with De Smet.

All programs will be varied so not the same each day.

Programs will be held in a tent in the museum’s park which is besides the city park with the one-room school that serves as a hands on discovery center. The street between the Surveyors House and Gift Shop and the park will be closed.

Dean and Alison signatures will be $6 per item signed. You want six signatures, you need six tickets. There are no official limits on what to sign. If you don’t have anything you want signed, they will have photos available for sale in the gift shop.

At the pageant Dean and Alison will have a question and answer session before the pageant starting at 7pm. They will only take cash and check. The pageant starts at 8pm. There is food available on grounds and a gift shop.

Tip bring own chairs. The food is like what you would find at a high school sporting event.

They will have additional wagons on the grounds this summer. When you go through the gate. You get a prize drawing slip, a wagon riding ticket, a newspaper of the event. They will do a state roll call. The rule is you have to yell for your home state and EXTRA loud for Iowa.

New to the Memorial Society’s collection is the restored 1880s covered wagon and 3 new archival cases.

The gift shop has the Surveyors House Cookie Cutter. There is also going to be a new, updated, and extended edition of the Ingalls Family of De Smet in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the museum.

Dean Butler

I also interviewed Dean Butler about the De Smet event.

Dean Butler was interviewed previously on the show in 2014 in honor of the TV show’s 40th anniversary event.

I was glad to welcome him back to talk about some of his most common “Little House” questions, what signing events are like in general, and what’s going to happen in De Smet in particular.

A note about the sound. It’s a little low so you’ll want to turn it up, but be aware there are a couple places where it will suddenly pop loud. Unfortunately the connection could have been better.

Dean Butler, a died Pepsi person, who played Almanzo on the NBC version of The Little House on the Prairie TV show. He started actin in High School in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. (Fun fact: I was also in a completely different high school production of Once Upon A Mattress – made famous by Carol Burnett – as a unnamed and unnumbered lady in waiting.)

His big break was in a movie version of Forever by Judy Blume. Michael Landon’s daughter was a fan and helped get him an audition. He was hired two weeks before graduation. Later he would appear as Moondoggie in The New Gidget and Buffy’s dad on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was associated with several iconic young woman characters and is honored to have those associations.

He thinks people like the Chicken Cinnamon episode is popular because it’s a good example of Laura’s gumption. Almanzo’s favorite food was really Liver’n’Onions.

Almanzo-Almonzo Dean has finally been convinced to pronounce it Almanzo the clincher being the recording of Laura saying his name. You can buy the recording, it’s called Laura Ingalls Wilder Speaks. Find it at any of the homesite museum giftshops online or in person. He always points out Lucy Lee Flippin was the first to pronounce it that way and he got pounded by fans for pronouncing it wrong from the beginning.

Dean attends a couple of signing events every year. He has 6 scheduled this summer. It’s important to be out there and keep the show alive to pay back the fans for their investment and support. His wife always says he’s going off for another weekend of adoration. One of the best parts of signing is the multi-generational component. He often signs books for daughter-mother-grandmother.

It’s a different signing experience at homesites and much better. Once at a mall a teenager got very aggressive and drew attention to how there really is trust between signers and signee. There is also a balance in signing how to make a connection with each person, but not to let them monopolize your time. Signing body parts doesn’t phase him, but he doesn’t like signing things people probably won’t keep like a wadded up napkin or a ratty piece of paper. He prefers something solid, like a book or a photo.

Dean’s programs are extraneous and focus on his experience with the TV show. The cast mostly gets together at appearances. He has been to the location of the exterior of the show set many times since the show ended. You can really tell where the Ingalls homestead was, but the town site is completely grown over. The last time he was there you could still find some debris from the big explosion and it took him right back to the day they watched it explode. I asked a follow up about the covered bridge with open sides. He says it’s on the Disney ranch. Besides, Little House look for that bridge on shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, NCIS, etc. Those are off the top of my head, feel free to add to the list in the comments below. Keep an eye out for it. Info on visiting the site.

 

Day 1 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Well after waiting for a full year day one of the South Dakota Historical Society’s Laura Ingalls Wilder conference is in the books and I have to say I really enjoyed it. If you want to read all of the tweets for the conference search Twitter for #SDHeritage

I especially want to point out the Little House on the Prairie Twitter account since their phone has a much better camera than mine does.

Remember you don’t need to have a Twitter account to read tweets.

I’m not going to transfer all of the Tweets over right now, but here are some highlights.

 

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Next two books in the Pioneer Girl “series” announced

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More details on buying the DVDs of conference coming soon

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Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.